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Guide to Taipei Outdoors

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Despite its reputation for tall skyscrapers, busy shopping malls, and bustling night markets, Taipei boasts some incredible natural outdoor areas. You don't have to travel far to find beautifully manicured parks, intense hiking trails, hot springs, or even a waterfall or two. Here are 10 recommendations for some of my favorite outdoor spaces in Taipei.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveler
  • Thrifty Traveler
  • Like a Local

10 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Elephant Mountain (aka Nangang District Hiking Trail)

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Yangmingshan National Park

Historic Walking Areas, Hot Springs & Geysers, Mountains, National Parks, Parks

Dahu Park

Parks

Taipei Zoo

Zoos

Maokong Gondola

Tramways

Danshuei

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Daan Forest Park

Parks

Wulai Falls

Waterfalls

Miramar Entertainment Park

Movie Theaters, Department Stores, Shopping Malls

Dajia Riverside Park

Fountains, Parks, Biking Trails

Erin D's City Tips

  • You can't go more than a couple of blocks without running into incredible food in Taipei. There are lots of casual markets and food stalls, especially near parks.
  • Getting around Taipei is easy and cheap. Utilize the rechargeable "EasyCard" for the MRT (Taipei Metro) or take taxis, which are metered and accessible on nearly every street.
  • Taipei enjoys a mild climate, but it can get extremely hot during the day, especially in summer. Bring sunblock and consider buying one of the UV umbrellas sold all over town.
  • Save
    Elephant Mountain (aka Nangang District Hiking Trail)
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    If you've ever wondered where all the gorgeous shots of Taipei with Taipei 101 in the background are taken, 90% of them are shot from the top of Elephant Mountain. The trail — also called Nangang District Hiking Trail — is located near Taipei 101 and the Xinyi Shopping District. The hike can take anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes to complete and it does include a lot of stairs. About halfway in, you'll find a landing area with facilities and restrooms. Bring your camera gear — including tripod — and don't be surprised to find a number of professional photographers up there.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is a YouBike station, Taipei's public bicycle rental system, at the bottom of the trail and at the edge of the park. YouBikes can be rented with the EasyCard.
    • The trail can be extremely crowded on weekends so pick a day during the week if you can.
    • The best time to hike is late afternoon as you can catch the sunset from the mountain.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tricky hike but worth it 08/21/2017
    • Good exercise that bear taipei city and with a good view. 08/20/2017
    • Elephant Mountain (aka Nangang District Hiking Trail)
    Address:
    Lane 150, Songren Rd., Xinyi Dist.
    Taipei
    Taiwan
    Phone:
    09063359497
    Other:
  • Save
    Yangmingshan National Park
    Historic Walking Areas, Hot Springs & Geysers, Mountains, National Parks, Parks
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Yangmingshan National Park is one of the most beloved spots in Taipei, and one of the best natural spots close to the city center. The area was formed by volcanic action in the Datun Mountains, which helped to create the abundant hot springs Yangminghsan is known for. There are numerous hiking trails here, including Tianmu Trail, Lengshuikeng, Qingtiangang, Jinbaoli Trail, Mt. Cising, Mt. Datun, and more. All the trails are nicely maintained and provide access to impressive scenery within the national park. If you head up Lengshuikeng Trail, you'll find Taiwan's only bed of precipitated sulfur. The sulfur fumes vented here turn the water murky, into an area known as Milk Lake, and the water temperature stays at a nice 104F (compared to most of the hot springs that are 194F or hotter).

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Weekends are traditionally pretty crowded at Yangmingshan as local residents look to escape the weekly grind. Go on a weekday if possible.
    • Early Spring can be really crowded due to the abundance of blooming flowers. Look for cherry blossom and white calla lily festivals around this time of year.
    • Don't pick the flowers as it's illegal.
    • Although it's tempting to go off the trails, stay to the cultivated areas as there are venomous snakes hiding in the scrub land.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not what I expected, definitely do your research before arriving 08/19/2017
    • Wonderful place for relaxing in Spring 08/18/2017
    • Yangmingshan National Park
    Address:
    Jhuzihhu Rd, Beitou District
    Taipei 112
    Taiwan
    Phone:
    +886 2 2861 3601
    Other:
  • Save
    Dahu Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Dahu Park is one of the lesser known outdoor spots in Taipei, but one of my personal favorites. Located in the Neihu District, the park offers some stunning views — including Egret Lake and Mt. Bailushi — without a big hike or crowds. There are also fishing zones, easy trails, a beautiful Chinese-style bridge, and more. It's a great place for nature photographers or travelers just looking for a quiet spot to relax. I lived across the street from Dahu Park for over two years and the views are stunning both during the day and at night when the bridge is lit up.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • On the MRT, take the brown line to Dahu Park Station.
    • Dahu Park also features a swimming center with indoor and outdoor pools.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice park 07/31/2017
    • Good park 06/20/2017
    • Dahu Park
    Address:
    No.31, Sec. 5, Chenggong Rd., Neihu Dist.
    Taipei
    Taiwan
    Phone:
    +886 2 2861 6361
    Other:
  • Save
    Taipei Zoo
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Taipei is home to what has been called the largest zoo in Asia. Also known as the 'Muzha Zoo,' it was founded in 1914 when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. It was originally a private zoological garden, but the government of Taiwan purchased it and opened it as a public zoo and park. It was expanded and relocated to its current spot in 1986. Exhibits include animals from all over the world, including Africa and Australia. One of the most notable exhibits is the Giant Panda House, which is home to two adult pandas and a baby. Other fun exhibits include the Koala House, the African animal area — where you'll see zebras, giraffes, elephants, and more — and the Penguin House, and temperate zone areas where red pandas, black bears, and pumas hang out. If you're interested in learning more about local Taiwanese animals, don't skip the Formosan exhibit that has boars, crab-eating mongooses, leopards, Formosan deer, and the Formosan black bears.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Giant Panda House always draws a crowd. Pick a weekday at midday. (You aren't allowed to stop so just get back in line and walk through again if you want more time with them.)
    • There is a train that runs inside the park — take it to the rear of the zoo and work your way down. (It gets really hot during the day in Taipei so you'll run out of steam fast.)
    • There is a Taipei Zoo Station on the MRT brown line. You can also visit the Maokong Gondola and tea area in this same area.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Educative, Spacious, animals are well taken care 08/13/2017
    • Great variety, spacious zoo 08/11/2017
    • Taipei Zoo
    Address:
    No.30, Section 2, Xinguang Road
    Taipei 11656
    Taiwan
    Phone:
    +886 2 2938 2300
    Other:
  • Save
    Maokong Gondola
    Tramways
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Hop on the Maokong Gondola to visit the Maokong Tea area (particularly convenient if you've just spent some time at Taipei Zoo). On a clear day, the views are pretty awesome as you depart from the Taipei Zoo and head up the mountain. There are four stations, including Zhinan Temple. Once you reach the final stop, explore the Maokong tea plantations and tea houses. This is an incredibly popular spot during the evening when many groups come up and sit at the tea houses for hours playing board games and enjoying the company of friends. There are a few tea houses where the staff speak good English and you can learn the proper ritual for a tea ceremony here.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Spend a few hours up on the mountain checking out the tea plantations and tea houses, and then head higher to get better views over Taipei and of Taipei 101.
    • The gondolas won't run in inclement weather.
    • The Maokong Gondola accepts the EasyCard for payment, as if you were using the MRT itself.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good view of the city 08/11/2017
    • Go, see the sites from above 08/09/2017
    • Maokong Gondola
    Phone:
    +886 2 2181 2345
    Other:
  • Save
    Danshuei
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    You might find Danshuei referred to as Tamsui, Danshui, or even Tamshui. Whichever name you go by, it's still one of the coolest spots in greater Taipei. It was once the center of shipping and commerce for northern Taiwan so it has a cool industrial vibe mixed with great coastal scenery and some interesting historic spots. Check out Hongmao Castle (Fort San Domingo), the Old Street and waterfront, and the Fisherman's Wharf area. The Fisherman's Wharf area is especially popular at night: This is where you'll find the iconic 'Lover's Bridge' that so many people love to take photos on.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The MRT refers to the area as Tamsui now, but you'll find other information that references Danshuei or Danshui.
    • This is a great spot to catch the sunset in Taiwan.
    • Be sure to check out the numerous food stalls and night market eats in the area.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 536 things to do in Xinbei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Do go to danshui old street 07/06/2017
    • Beautiful Sunset 07/05/2017
    • Danshuei
    Phone:
    +886 2 2626 0799
  • Save
    Daan Forest Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Daan Forest Park, or Da'an Park, is a public park located in the Daan District of Taipei. It's a popular spot in the center of the city for various outdoor activities. It has two ponds, a couple of pavilions, walking paths, and a jogging loop. Da'an Park is bordered by Xinyi Road to the north, Heping East Road to the south, Xinsheng South Road to the west, and Jianguo South Road to the east. Be sure to check out the 'Ecological Pond,' home to a number of birds, turtles, and fish. There is a Buddha Statue and bamboo forest in the south and an open-air theater in the middle too. The park is also considered the homeland of water sources, and the Water Resources Agency hopes to educate locals on conserving water here; look for water saving apparatus installed inside, a public toilet demo system, and the water purification plant experiment.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are a number of good restaurants and quick bites available on the streets surrounding Da'an Park.
    • The closest MRT station is Daan Park Station or Technology Building Station.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A lovely little oasis 07/30/2017
    • Beautiful relaxation 07/14/2017
    • Daan Forest Park
    Address:
    Xinsheng South Road, Daan District
    Taipei
    Taiwan
    Phone:
    +886 2 2700 3830
    Other:
  • Save
    Wulai Falls
    Waterfalls
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    To get to Wulai Falls, you'll have to journey about 40 minutes or so to the outskirts of greater Taipei, but it's worth it. Wulai is a small town that is famous for its hot springs and aboriginal culture. Visit the waterfalls, watch the Formosan aboriginal shows, and take the train that runs through the village. If you're wanting to try some hot springs, Wulai is the next best spot to Beitou, as here the springs are clear and odorless.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Hotels in Wulai can fill up fast so book ahead if you're wanting to spend a night or two.
    • Public hot spring etiquette means no clothing (including swimwear) should be worn, hair should be tied up (so it doesn't touch the water), and you should wash thoroughly first.
    • Take the MRT to Xindian Station and then bus #849 from the stop in front of the station. Wulai is the last stop.
    • Weekends can get pretty crowded in Wulai so it's best to go on a weekday if possible.
    • If you're a bit shy about trying a public bath, many of the hotels offer private hot springs and rooms that feature hot spring tubs.
    • Be sure to try some of the local aboriginal cuisine like wild boar and bamboo tube rice.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 536 things to do in Xinbei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Pretty scenery 08/19/2017
    • Gorgeous natural area, Rundown neglected development 08/18/2017
    • Wulai Falls
    Address:
    Taipei County, South of Taipei
    Xinbei
    Taiwan
  • Save
    Miramar Entertainment Park
    Movie Theaters, Department Stores, Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    If you want to check out one of the mixed indoor/outdoor shopping areas, try Miramar Entertainment Park. Aside from a number of good restaurants and interesting stores inside the mall, there is a giant Ferris wheel on the roof of the center. It's one of the tallest in Asia, measuring over 100 meters (330 feet) tall; has 48 carriages — each holding up to six passengers and featuring independent air-conditioning and stereo facilities — and one rotation of the wheel takes 17 minutes. The Ferris wheel is quite popular with young couples in Taiwan who stand in line to enjoy a romantic ride over Taipei.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveler
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • There's a great IMAX Theater at Miramar so if you want to go inside to shop and then catch a movie, everything is in one place here.
    • Go during sunset to catch some awesome views of Taipei while on the Ferris wheel.
    • This is a great stop to combine with Dahu Park as you take the same MRT line and they are only a couple of stops apart from each other.
    • As night falls, the 624 neon tubes on the wheel come to life with a light show.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 40 Fun & Games in Taipei
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ferris wheel, shopping and cinema 06/21/2017
    • Upmarket 04/27/2017
    • Miramar Entertainment Park
    Address:
    No.20 Jingyuesan Road, Zhongshan District
    Taipei 104
    Taiwan
    Phone:
    +886 2 2175 3456
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Other:
  • Save
    Dajia Riverside Park
    Fountains, Parks, Biking Trails
    See more photos
    Erin D Says:

    Located in the Zhongshan District of Taipei, this popular riverside park sits alongside the Keelung river. The park was designed to help straighten the course of the river and sits between Zhongshan and Dazhi Bridges. It's an iconic park in the center of Taipei and was one of the venues for the prestigious International Flora Expo in 2010. Dajia, and its neighboring parks, are ideal spots to go cycling and get away from the hectic city life without having to travel too far. While cycling is a popular pastime in Taipei, the busy city streets make it a rather dangerous mode of transport, so people take to the trails, cycling paths, and nature areas here. You can view the popular Miramar Ferris wheel, Taipei's iconic Grand Hotel, and there is a gigantic fountain that features a rhythmic water show with aerated jets of varying intensity and height. Plus, there are plenty of sports facilities for those interested in playing basketball, tennis, badminton, and croquet.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Dajia was featured in the 19th season of the popular television show, The Amazing Race.
    • There are bicycle rental facilities on site.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #129 of 560 things to do in Taipei
    • Dajia Riverside 01/04/2017
    • Beautiful and accessible 12/15/2016
    Address:
    Zhongshan Dist.
    Taipei
    Taiwan
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